Trade organizations representing airports, airlines and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are working together more closely to influence aviation system improvements in Europe, where the Single European Sky effort continues to draw criticism for moving too slowly. Airports Council International (ACI), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) plan to introduce a series of collaborative programs with tangible results, or “deliverables,” according to Canso director general Jeff Poole.
In a briefing for reporters on February 13 at the World ATM Congress in Madrid, Poole said that he and his counterparts–Angela Gittens of ACI and Tony Tyler of IATA–have committed to aligning the efforts of their respective organizations to achieve operational improvements, even if airports, airlines and ANSPs disagree on some issues. The executives “have a professional commitment with each other and also a personal one that says we’re going to make things happen differently,” he said. “The three organizations are working together now to build a much more comprehensive series of programs on which we work together, but most importantly with deliverables. …We’ll actually put proper programs in place and make it happen.”
The organizations announced last June a tripartite agreement to coordinate efforts that Poole signed in his former capacity as IATA’s director of government and industry affairs. Last October, Canso hired Poole as its new director general; an interim director ran the Netherlands-based organization for several months after former chief executive Graham Lake stepped down abruptly in March. Poole, who also formerly worked for Airbus and BAE Systems, delivered his first speech as Canso’s head last November at the 12th International Civil Aviation Organization Air Navigation Conference, a once-per-decade event.
The “spirit of cooperation” among organizations that Poole described was put to the test at the inaugural World ATM Congress, which Canso co-organized with the U.S.-based Air Traffic Control Association. In one of the first addresses there, IATA’s Tyler announced that his organization, the Association of European Airlines and the European Regions Airline Association had issued their own “blueprint” for a Single European Sky that calls for the number of ATC centers in Europe to be reduced by half to 40, among other measures. Tyler also accused ANSPs of foot-dragging on cost-efficiency targets.
“That was unveiled without us actually being consulted,” Poole said of the airline industry blueprint. He said Canso and IATA representatives met after the Tyler speech “and we’ve got a series of meetings organized to talk around that.”